JCPS says it successfully implemented security protocol following gun threat
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Valley High School was put on level four security Monday afternoon, after two students reported seeing someone with a gun on campus.
JCPS says school administrators immediately notified the district's security unit and implemented level four security -- one step down from a full lockdown.
Officials say students were kept in classrooms as canine officers were brought in and every student was searched using a metal detector.
No weapon was found.
"We checked students, checked rooms, checked hallways," said JCPS spokesperson Ben Jackey. "The students, staff, administrators, did exactly what they were supposed to do, and we admire and applaud them."
The process delayed dismissal about an hour, leaving some parents and guardians on-edge regarding the situation inside.
"All the children aren't out of that school yet," said Nickie Carpenter shortly after picking her grandson up. "And still nobody has sent home a letter, texted, anything -- we are still in the dark as to what happened at that school today."
JCPS did send a text message and email to parents registered for alerts. The message informed parents of the delayed dismissal. JCPS said they'll generally only inform parents of a threat if it has been substantiated.
"It is a balance. Do you send out something every time and worry everyone on a regular basis," said Jackey. "Or do you try and handle the situation and make sure the students are safe, do your best to carry on with the school day, and when there becomes a real interruption or potential danger, that's when you notify them."
Monday, Valley High School responded based on a five-level security chart used by all JCPS schools. The system provides a checklist to help school officials in responding to a threat or active situation.
"Unfortunately, in this day and age, with the type of things we saw happen in Washington, we can never be too careful," said Jackey. "We know sometimes it can cause inconvenience and worry, but our number one priority is protecting our students, and that's what happened today."
Schools work alongside the district's security unit and Louisville police when dealing with possible threats. If a student is found with a weapon, or accused of making threats, LMPD decides how to charge the student. That punishment is implemented on a case-by-case basis.
If learning is disrupted, and a full school day isn't completed due to a lockdown or security threat, JCPS does not require a makeup day.
According to the JCPS Safety Procedures Manual (which you can find here), general staff at the school has the following actions checklist:
Immediately notify the front office, and identify yourself.
Give the location, the nature of the situation, and any other pertinent information.
If possible, isolate the student from other students and staff.
Document the incident, and when appropriate, provide a written disciplinary referral.